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Destined to be Wives: The Sisters of Beatrice Webb
Destined to be Wives The Sisters of Beatrice Webb Author:Barbara Caine Exploring the lives of Beatrice Webb and her eight sisters, this volume presents a vivid picture of the experiences of a group of upper middle class women in England at the turn of the century. Barbara Caine juxtaposes the normal pattern of the Potters' lives with some of the extraordinary conflicts and tragedies that took place behind the resp... more »ectable facade of traditional Victorian and Edwardian family life. Highlighting some of these tensions and pressures--including the suicide of one sister, the death of another probably induced by the cocaine she took after a family breakdown, and the shock the older sisters experienced as a result of their younger sister's sexual promiscuity--Caine demonstrates how they came together, in times of crisis, as a support network for one another. They recognized that the "sisterhood" provided the only security in a society which made women socially, legally, and economically subordinate to men.
Making full use of the vast collection of letters and diaries left by the Potters, Caine enhances our understanding of Beatrice Webb herself, as we see her through the eyes of her family, and through her reactions to their trials and tribulations. Contributing greatly to the social history of Victorian and early Edwardian England, Destined to be Wives offers many invaluable insights into the problems and sufferings that women faced during this period.« less